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demographic theory

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University of Guelph
SOC 2010
Linda Hunter

Demographic Transition Theory • According to demographic transition theory, societies move from high birth rates and death rates to relatively low birth and death rates as a result of technological development. The demographic transition takes place in four stages: 1) Preindustrial Stage – characterized by little population growth; high birth rates are offset by high death rates 2) Transitional or Early Industrial Stage – characterized by significant population growth as the birth rate remains high but the death rate declines because of new technologies that improve health, sanitation, and nutrition 3) Mature Industrial Stage – characterized by declining birth rate as people control their fertility with various forms of contraception, and the death rate declines as medicine and other health care technologies control acute and chronic diseases. 4) Postindustrial Stage – characterized by very slow or no population growth, as a decreasing birth rate is coupled with a stable death rate • Proponents of the demographic transition theory believe that technology can overcome the dire predi
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